December 15th, 2017

Medicine Hat is made for a tourism industry

By Letter to the Editor on October 11, 2017.

I have lived in this city now for more than 20 years. I have no intention of moving on the whole it is a good place to live. I was actually visiting the city quite often during the Cold War years (1972 onwards) to train at CFB Suffield. Throughout this time and particularly since I have settled here, the push has been to attract big industry and manufacturing to the area, a noble venture and one that should continue. However maybe it is time to commit to a new long-term strategy, one that could attract other interested parties from outside of heavy industry and manufacturing. There are many reasons this region struggles so hard to attract said interest.

So where do we go from here? Tourism. This city is made for a tourism industry, with the history, location and opportunity. A long-term strategy to develop, Echo Dale Regional Park, the river from Echo Dale to the city, a First Nations museum by the teepee, work harder to develop a vibrant downtown core, we already have a movie theatre (The Monarch) a museum and theatre (The Esplanade) The best hockey rink around, the Canalta Centre, also hosts shows. Who knows, with a massive tourism industry maybe that will help to attract even bigger headliners than we get now. The Family Leisure Centre, one of the best around, And over time, as the tourism industry grows in Medicine Hat, it will attract more hotels and, dare we believe, maybe a theme park developer or two and all the that goes along with it.

I am not saying stop looking for industry and manufacturing, but it has been long enough the city is not growing like other cities who can attract those businesses, so maybe it is time to make a determined effort at something I truly believe this city can be and that is one of the top tourist attractions in the province, if not the country. We have a wonderful Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) and a second-to-none forward thinking executive director of the DMO in Jace Anderson. All we need is a council and administration with the fortitude to make it happen. Yes it will take time but other cities have tourism as there first source of income why not Medicine Hat?

Wayne Smith

Medicine Hat

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